Young Talents from the Brasileiro Série A to Keep an Eye on

Brazil is considered one of the homes of football, with the sport deeply immersed in the country’s culture that lives and breathes the game. Some of football’s most exciting talents were Brazilian – Ronaldinho, Neymar, Ronaldo, Kaka, and the late Pelé – who inspired countless young stars to love the wonderful sport.

Their elegant and graceful movement with the ball at their feet is so unique to the country that they have bred a class of skillful players that distinctively possess Brazilian flair. The current batch of national team players still embody these traits, with Vinícius Júnior, Rodrygo, and Gabriel Martinelli quickly coming to mind.

All Brazilian players, past, current, and future, elevate their status in Europe but are first nurtured at home in the Brazilian top division, known as Campeonato Brasileiro Série A.

With the player transfer market inflating to new highs by the year, clubs have begun recruiting at source – signing youngsters for absurd sums of money. Recent examples reflect the same: Paris Saint-Germain signed Gabriel Moscardo (18) for €15 million, Andrey Santos (19) moved to Chelsea for €12.5 million, Barcelona purchased Vitor Roque (18) for €40 million, and the high-profile transfer of Endrick (17) to Real Madrid for €42.5 million.

The production flow of talent has not stopped, with more prospects emerging from Brazil. This article will explore some names to look out for this year.

Paulinho (23) – Clube Atlético Mineiro

Paulo Henrique Sampaio Filho, commonly known as Paulinho, is not an unfamiliar name in Europe, with Bayer Leverkusen signing the forward in mid-2018 for €20 million. After an unsuccessful five-year spell in Germany, the striker returned to his home country.

Since then, Paulinho played in 36 matches for Atlético Mineiro, scoring 20 goals – the most in the Brazilian senior division in 2023. He can play across the frontline, looking comfortable in tight spaces and transitional phases.

Paulinho might be cautious and prefer to mature his skillset for another season instead of rushing for a move abroad. However, there is no doubt that it will not be soon before another club comes knocking.

André (22) – Fluminense

André joined the youth academy of Fluminense at age 12 and stayed with the club for over ten years – making his senior debut in 2018 at the tender age of 18. Since then, André has established himself as a regular starter – recording almost 8000 minutes of experience at central defensive midfield.

The tenacious midfielder is an aggressive deep-lying destroyer equipped with a good range of passing – capable of discharging long diagonals accurately to the feet of his teammates. Furthermore, André is an adept ball carrier who can expertly wriggle through tight situations and progress his team forward.

Fluminense rejected a move by Liverpool a few months back, but it will not be long before another European club tries again to secure the signature of the coveted youngster.

Having played for a possession-dominant attacking side under the respected Fernando Diniz, André would be more capable of integrating into an elite side like Liverpool – making him one of the most attractive young defensive midfielders in the transfer market.

Maurício (22) – Internacional

Mauricio is an energetic central midfielder whose tendency to crash late into the penalty box makes him a valuable attacking asset for Internacional. In the last two Série A campaigns, Maurcio has scored 12 goals and assisted 11.

The midfielder is not yet fully polished, however, after a season or two of experience at a slightly higher level, there would be nothing stopping Mauricio from moving abroad. Arsenal and Real Madrid showed interest in 2022, but these rumours have cooled down since. MLS side Charlotte FC offered $8 million late last year but was rejected immediately by Internacional.

Yuri Alberto (22) – Corinthians

Yuri Alberto does not make the cut for Série A strikers who have recorded double digits in goals but is arguably the most well-rounded on this list. He is comfortable in tight spaces, uses his height and frame to hold up the ball, performs timely runs, and is a decent finisher.

It is no wonder that Wolverhampton Wanderers attempted a late move for Alberto during the January transfer window but failed to secure a deal due to financial differences.

Alberto has also been subject to interest from other Premier League sides like West Ham United and Everton. As the summer transfer window approaches in a few months, the Corinthians star will be one to look out for.

John Kennedy (21) – Fluminense

The Fluminense starlet is an intriguing prospect clubs would be keeping their eye on. For a striker, Kennedy possesses a unique ability on the ball as he is adept at driving at defenders and operating in tight spaces. Due to his youth, Kennedy is not yet a consistent finisher but is capable of producing moments of magic with his strong and weak foot. Nevertheless, Kennedy showed signs of improvement in his finishing in the second half of the 2023 season.

Kennedy is far from the finished product and will require more time to develop in Brazil before a step up. Still, many analysts and scouts have deemed a high ceiling for the youngster.

The future is bright for Brazil

Brazil continues to produce the brightest young talents in world football. Despite the competitive nature of the Brazilian Série A, clubs provide youngsters with opportunities to progress their attributes and develop into better footballers.

Many recent examples include the transfer of the highly-rated Marcos Leonardo, the former Santos attacker who moved to Benfica earlier this year, Lucas Beraldo to Paris Saint-Germain, and Gabriel Chaves to MLS side LA Galaxy. The list above also does not include exciting up-and-coming talents like Estevão Willian, rumored to be moving abroad despite being unproven in the Brazilian league at only 17 years old.

The trend of European clubs poaching young talents is widespread in the South American market, where top clubs are betting early on young potential. Chelsea signed Ecuador wunderkind Kendry Páez for a fee in the region of £17 million at age 16 and Brighton secured a deal for Valentín Barco, the highly appreciated Boca Juniors defender, a few months later – reflecting the aggressive transfer strategy of clubs.

With the football transfer market inflating to greater heights every year, clubs have exponentially begun banking on young talent from abroad for exorbitant rates due to high competition. Therefore, do not be surprised if foreign clubs poach the young talents on this list for eye-watering fees by the end of the year.

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